12. "Laura's Secret Diary"

"When I turned twenty, I decided to take full responsibility for myself. So a week later I attempted suicide. Maybe it was too much at one time."

- David Feinberg, Eighty-Sixed

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by Lucas Edwards

Table of Contents


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Somewhere, sometime during the rewriting and re-organizing of this e-novel in progress, I say of another "chapter" that it is the one most in need of a rewrite on a large scale. I was wrong. This is that chahpter:

Like Edward Lacie enjoys "Full Frontal" (the movie), I like "Time Code" by director Mike Figgis.

The movie should be shown as a double bill with the Hitchcock movie it references, "Sabotage" I think.

A scene from it is showing on the screen in a screening room when two of the many main characters of "Time Code" meet behind the screen and have a tryst. One of them is miked and another character is listening in to the activites of the couple.

The person listening in doesn't know the interference is a Hitchcock movie. The viewers know it because since the beginning of the movie, they have been watching a screen split into four scenes.

Four hand-held cameras follow various characters, all in real time (and a real earthquake), all wandering through Los Angeles each with their various motives and pasts.

The two people make love in the dark behind the screen.

Besides the beauty of the scene I mentioned, a technical marvel takes place in the scene behind the screen: camera A, which has accompanied character X since the beginning, begins to follow character Y when X and Y go their separate ways after making out. 

The camera which had been following character Y has wandered from character to character until this time. Now it becomes the camera to follow character X only.

The camera once only on X now follows Y for a short while but becomes the sporadic camera soon thereafter.

Criticized by critics was the scene in which a character proposes a veiled version of "Time Code" to the studio chief at an informal company conference.

Proposed pages and quotes for the forgery of Sutter's Gold in preparation:

Page 7 (recto, of course): "Johann August Sutter deserted his wife and four children in Switzerland, leaving for New York City, United States."

Page 8 (same page, verso): "Johann August Sutter, at this crisis of his life, was thirty-one years old.

"He was born February 15, 1803, at Kandern, in the Grand-Duchy of Baden.

"His grandfather, Jacob Sutter, was the founder¹ of a whole dynasty of Sutters, paper-makers...."

Page 24: "He joins a company of thirty-five traders wo are bound for Santa Fé, eight hundred miles away.

"But the caravan is badly equipped, its organization poor, and the partners a pack of wastrels. Sutter would have lost every cent if he had not separated himself from them." (echoes of the Labatot affair of Rimbaud)

Page 29: Horse's name: Wild Bill.

Page 31: I know the Columbia River was not yet named that and was sometimes called the Oregon. The Columbia was an early ship to explore the U.S. West Coast. I'll have Sutter aboard it when he leaves Vancouver (Fort Vancouver then, in the Oregon Territory, now Vancouver, Washington) - "From where they stand to where the Oregon debauches upon the Pacific there are more than fourteen hundred miles to traverse."

By page 71: "Sutter was the largest landowner in the Union." California had just become a state and Sutter's land had been given to him before statehood by the governor of Mexico. I'll have him call the "town" "New Helvetia" (for "New Switzerland") in honor of his roots.

Page 77: "He is forty-five. He has given up everything to come to America, to succeed. And the discovery of gold on his property destroys him."

"Time Code" was the first great film of the 21st Century. Clearly. No competition. ("Full Frontal" doesn't even get an Honorable Mention, due to the availability of "Adaptation" and "The Hours" in 2003).


Besides crime shows, Jim Post watches a lot of home design shows. I proposed a new version of one to him today: "While You Were Cranking" in which two couples trade houses for 24 hours, are given $2,000 for purchases of furniture and paint and such, $200 for amphetamines. The rules: 24 hours, no sleep, redo each other's complete homes!

Get this: Kyle MacLachlan is in both "Time Code" and "Full Frontal" (he's the only person seen in "Full Frontal" in full frontal nudity). His acting abilities have come to resemble those of Lyle Lovett who shows up in a few Robert Altman films. In fact he's very good (Lyle is) in "Shortcuts."

Also participating in "Time Code" is Holly Hunter, usually a top-notch actress (as opposed to performer, per Edward Lacie's comparison), but only proficient in "Time Code." She's just not better than anyone else and not memorable. My feelings are that she's best in a less improvisational format.

Selma Hyack is criticized as being more performer than actress. Though her character is similar in many roles, I am willing to put her on the actress side rather than the performer side of that line because of her participation and performance in "Time Code" (and "Studio 54").

"Time Code" is meant to be seen on a theater screen, not a living-room box.

I'm trying to find more excerpts from the Gnome book which could be added to this "bouleversement" of an "episode." I'm also reading the notebook referred to as The Trip written on the train and thought to be destroyed.

Raped or murdered? Have you read The Pillar and the City?² I was sleeping under Vidal's bed.

I'm anxious to write the movie script of the rescue of Private Lynch.

It's in the papers that the footage was faked by the army (specifically the democratic army³). No one reads newspapers.

Which witch is which?

From Chapter Nine, The City and the Pillar:

"He was exuberant. 'So what's new? In that butch uniform yet! Been to see America's Sweetheart?'

"'No. Not yet.'

"'Where you stationed?'

"Jim told him." (p.114)

"'Well, if it isn't the tennis boy,' he said, deserting the sailor. 'What's new with you? You a soldier, I see. Been visiting Shaw?'

"'No, I haven't seen him yet. I've only been in town a short while.'

"'Where you stationed?'

"Jim told him." (p.226)

From Chapter Ten:

"After Shaw left New York, Jim went back to his bar hunting. He still disliked drinking but he found that the most desirable men visited the more notorious bars and so he got in the habit of visiting them regularly. He liked young men his own age who, like himself, were not effeminate or unnatural. He fell in love with a few but, since most of them were just passing through town or were married, nothing ever came of these one-night stands." (p.277)

"After Shaw had left New York, Jim returned to the bar life. He particularly liked one Eighth Avenue bar where both men and women gathered and some of the men were available and some were not, which gave a certain excitement to negotiations. He most liked the innocents who would say the next morning, 'Gee, I was sure drunk last night!' and pretend not to remember what had happened." (p.136-137)

But I digress. 


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